President of Chile Sebastian Piñera launches mass vaccination against COVID-19 throughout Chile: “It is a tremendous challenge and a truly epic feat”
The process, which is expected to reach the bulk of the 5 million people considered to be in the high risk group between February and March, starts with senior citizens over age 90, healthcare workers, workers from the National Service for Minors (SENAME), staff from Long-term Care Residences for Senior Citizens (ELEAM) and healthcare residence staff.
The President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, launched the mass vaccination process against COVID-19 in the Family Health Center (CESFAM) Belarmina Paredes in the municipality of Futrono, in the Los Ríos Region.
“Today, after 11 months of hardship, pain and difficult times during the pandemic, we are starting the mass vaccination process throughout the entire country in order to protect our fellow citizens from the ongoing threat of the coronavirus and this pandemic,” the President said as he accompanied 93-year-old Ernestina Godoy to get her vaccine. She was the first senior citizen in the country to receive her first dose of the Sinovac vaccine against the coronavirus.
President Piñera gave the go-ahead for the inoculation of the Sinovac vaccine for healthcare workers, workers from the SENAME centers and ELEAM facilities, as well as staff from the healthcare residences and senior citizens over 90 years old.
The process began simultaneously in all of the regions throughout the country after receiving almost 4 million doses from the Sinovac laboratory last week. Shipments of these vaccines will continue to arrive over the next weeks until the numbers exceed 10 million doses in the first quarter. The calendar includes vaccinating seniors between 87 and 89 years old on Thursday, February 4 and those aged between 85 and 86 on Friday, February 5. Next week, the vaccination of personnel in essential customer services positions, pharmacies, laboratories, the police and armed forces, as well as those who perform critical State functions, will begin.
People may be vaccinated in any authorized location, regardless of what region or area they are from. Likewise, the second dose can be administered in a different location since there will be a follow-up of the process conducted by the Health Ministry (MINSAL).
“I want to invite everyone to participate in this mission and this great feat to protect our population from this pandemic,” said the President, who was accompanied by the Los Ríos Regional Governor, César Asenjo, and by the Mayor of Futrono, Claudio Lavado.
The plans include that the bulk of the high risk group, approximately 5 million people, will be vaccinated within the first quarter, and close to 15 million people, the majority of the country´s entire population, will be vaccinated within the first semester of 2021.
“With everyone´s help, collaboration and commitment, I am sure we will succeed,” said the President.